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My Escapes Singapore Return to "Lion City" What's All That Fuss About Durians?

What's All That Fuss About Durians?

May 30, 2014
April 29, 2015

The durian is a wicked hedgehog-like fruit with spikes that's incredibly popular in Southeast Asia. But strangely, in some situations, having one on you is illegal and you can get a heavy fine.
What's all that fuss about durians?

In Southeast Asia, the durians are incredibly popular, even included in various pastry products.
But - they're banned from the MRT, hotels and various other public places due to their disgusting and persistent smell (similar to vomit).

They're as roughly the size of yellow melons, but some even reach 30 cm (12 in) in length. They're not perfectly round, but slightly elongated like melons or coconuts.


Durians... a bucket load

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The fruits have a thick husk and spikes...

Durians are everywhere at markets in Singapore and Malaysia.
They're popular, beloved by many, even iconic - in a way. At least in terms of design... even Singapore's Theatres On Bay building's design was inspired by this weird fruit.

Durian-shaped building

The Theatres On Bay

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Out of mere curiosity (without any idea about what they taste like), I ordered a single durian pancake at a stall in the Outram area.

Punched in the face by a sweat 'n' vomit-like flavour, I struggled with it for a while, but I couldn't eat it.

Just as I got utterly disgusted, I threw it into a trash can - after walking to a safe distance from the seller (whom I didn't want to offend).

Durian pancake

Vomit pancake, anyone?

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I will never attempt to eat anything containing vomit-tasting durians.

The odour is said to resemble the taste - which can be described as a mixture of vomit and sweat. Utterly disgusting!

Hence, durians are banned from the Singapore MRT and many other public areas. No wonder!

But, if they're so disgusting, how come the "poor" fruit is protecting itself with so many spikes? As if it were a delicacy...

Durian banned

Banned, but no fine shown

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If there's a top "don't try, no do" in Singapore, then that would be tasting anything with durian in it!

After taking a few bites into that pancake, trying to understand what's so delicious about it to some, I struggled understanding why on Earth someone would even make a pancake out of a vomit-sewage-sweat tasting hedgehog-resembling fruit?

One other thing to mention: the odor is strong and persists a long time, even after the fruit has been removed/exposure has ceased.

So much for my experience durians...

(It's a personal opinion and I don't mean to offend anyone who actually like their taste).

Have you had any experiences with these fruits? Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments section...

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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